Alpine College Closes; What You Need To Know - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Alpine College Closes; What You Need To Know

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    SPOKANE, Wash. - Students at Alpine College in Spokane Valley were shocked to show up for class and find the doors locked and no sign of faculty or staff.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Students at Alpine College in Spokane Valley were shocked to show up for class and find the doors locked and no sign of faculty or staff. There was simply a note on the door stating "Sorry for the inconvenience, Alpine College is permanently closed for business.">>

Loans--Who is responsible?

Students are responsible for paying loans. However, they can apply to have their loans discharged by the U.S. Department of Education, if it is federal financial aid.

Those students who paid out of their pocket, may be reimbursed on a pro rata basis through the state's Tuition Recovery Trust Fund. This fund is paid for by schools as part of their licensing requirement. Students may be reimbursed for training they did not receive, based on several factors, including class hours. For example, if they enrolled in a 100 hour course and received 90 hours of training, they could be reimbursed for the 10 hours they DID NOT receive.

When we tap into the trust fund, we will be charging the school's owners to get all or some of it back.

Licensed schools

Alpine was an accredited school. It was also licensed by the state's Workforce Board. We maintain a list of licensed schools here. http://www.wtb.wa.gov/currentlicensedschools.asp.

To license a school, our agency requires a:

  • Working business plan
  • Detailed descriptions of education programs
  • A financial statement
  • A credit report
  • A draft catalog
  • Copies of other state licenses and more.

Our staff regulate private career schools and make in-person visits. We take our consumer protection role seriously and monitor schools offering programs below a two-year degree. School closures are infrequent. Most do so in an orderly fashion, meaning students finish their courses before they close their doors.

A certificate from a closed school is typically fine. We keep transcripts from closed schools for 50 years, so students can access them and provide them to employers when applying for a job.

NEXT STEPS

Our staff are driving to Spokane Valley right now. They will be meeting with students, staff and the school's owners tomorrow. They will be distributing 200 flyers and posting a notice on the school door.

View times at http://www.wtb.wa.gov/AlpineCollegeclosure.asp

Staff will be obtaining student records to help sort out who may be eligible for financial reimbursement, and what level.

They will be working with Northwest Career Colleges Federation to see if any colleges can take Alpine students and allow them to finish out classes.

Another possible path for students is to contact a community or technical college and see if they can undergo an assessment for prior learning. In some cases our community college system grants Credits for Prior Learning that help put students closer to a credential.

Get more information about our consumer protection role and other details on our private career schools page.

www.wtb.wa.gov/pcs.asp

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